Saturday, June 9, 2018

Surly Darkness

Bottling code: 1705030757

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 20C Imperial Stout

AROMA: Fruit-forward nose of dark and dried fruits (i.e. plums, figs, raisins, cherry, black grape, currant, etc.). Noticeable black licorice character, but no confectionery/syrupy notes. Malt base is clearly dark and intense, but lacking any overt roasted/burnt/coffee-like character. Moderately-strong American hop presence with significant citrusy aromatics. The alcohol is virtually undetectable. 11/12

APPEARANCE: Opaque jet black (44+ SRM) with dark tan frothy foam which laces and retains extremely well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Massive malt and fruit bomb, but with enough hops for balance. Palette is remarkably fruity with a cornucopia of flavors (plum, raisin, fig, black cherry, currant, etc.). A flavor of black licorice is also quite strong, with a somewhat subtle dark/semi-sweet chocolate taste. Malt base is rich and strong, but offers little in the way of familiar roasted or coffee-like flavors (this is acceptable for the style, but may throw off some drinkers). Beer is sweet to be sure, though the hops are strong enough to at least offer balance. Moderately-high citrusy hop flavor and moderate bitterness. Aftertaste is bittersweet as both the rich malt base and the hops linger. The alcohol is clean as a whistle and lays in the background throughout; even as the beer warms. 18/20

MOUTHFEEL: Full-bodied; medium-low carbonation. Texture is smooth and soft. Amazing drinkability considering its potency of 12% ABV. Alcohol is clean and smooth; no burning or warming sensation whatsoever. 5/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: A Hall Of Fame imperial stout as far as specs go. A bit fruitier and less roasty than I'd prefer, but a delectable brew nevertheless. 10/10


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